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I knew things were going downhill, but couldn’t do anything to stop them. I was only there to observe. At last, killer question emerged: “How much does it cost?”
The sales rep, trying to deflect it, explained that a full assessment was needed to configure system properly. He suggested that as next step, but damage was already done.
“You’d be wasting your time,” buyer said. “There’s no way we can spend that kind of money right now. Besides, it can’t ...” He proceeded to pick apart some minor detail about system.
The sales rep looked puzzled, not understanding why this qualified buyer would so quickly reject new product - especially when it had such a financially attractive value proposition. He was never able to get meeting back on track. We left with no follow-up planned.
You know what problem was?
It was that darn brochure! By bringing it out so early, sales rep lost control of sale process. He didn’t uncover any problems, difficulties or dissatisfaction with current system. He didn’t explore any business ramifications or find any pay-offs for making a change. No wonder buyer said it was too expensive.
Worse thing is, sales rep dug his own grave; everything that happened was totally preventable.
1. The untimely use of brochures and other marketing collateral quickly derails even best sales efforts with highly qualified prospects.
2. If your sales process requires multiple calls and involves a variety of decision makers, keep your new product or service brochures in car on first call.
3. Use early sales calls to focus on customer, their goals, processes, challenges, issues, bottlenecks and needs.
4. Save your brochures till later - you may never even need to use them!
Jill Konrath, President of Selling to Big Companies, helps small businesses win big contracts in corporate market.
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Jill Konrath is founder of SellingtoBigCompanies.com, a web resource that helps small businesses win big contracts in the corporate market. To learn more about how to get your foot in the door, create urgent needs for your services and develop profitable long-term relationships, check out http://www.SellingtoBigCompanies.com . Sign up for our FREE newsletter, Quantum Leaps Selling by sending an email to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with subscribe in the subject line.